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We are there already?

The night before Father’s Day was a beautiful one. Not too hot, not too cold, just a small breeze to rustle the hair. The moon was a sliver, and the planets bright. I took a little too long exiting the car with the family and stopped for a few moments to be alone with the sky…….

Inside the family was stirring. The buzz of voices was blurry, and if I tried, I could have picked out what they were saying if I wanted to, but I had lagged to be alone. Instead I became preoccupied with what I was experiencing at that time.

I sat down on a waterproof seat cushion, and looked up. A couple of friends I had known since college stared back. Arcturus, the mighty giant was overhead, and slightly southwest lay the sparkling beautiful Spica. But tonight this summer sky was dominated by Saturn hovering over the southeast. And as I relaxed, ….. I let my mind pull up, high above the accretion disc of planets, and attempted to visualize where I sat in the context of this solar system. That yellow orb of Saturn was over 7 times the distance of the sun from earth. And right now, a metallic object, built by several members of our species, was orbiting that orb surrounded by 59 moons, and was at this moment sending digital photo’s back to earth. Not to mention that we had been able to put a probe onto one of its moons, which looked eerily like parts of earth, even though any water had been locked up as ice for billions of years……

And then out of nowhere the thought came, from where I don’t know, that asked me the question of just how such a species, capable of manipulating the laws of physics so precisely as to send an object into that planetary system from ours, the equivalent of aiming an electron the length of a football field and have it land on a softball over a hundred yards away,………how could such a species, capable of cooperating so precisely, be at odds over something like Iraq?

And where do I, one tiny electron, fit into this vast expanse of empty space?

Occasionally the “philosophical” muse finds me, like a little boy who looks for bugs under a rock. Suddenly it is there, scaring me. This night was one of those increasingly infrequent times. As I stared at Saturn, which to my eyes was nothing but a yellow dot, ( but knowing full well the power of its 900 mph winds and its immense beauty,) I switched topics and asked myself this question: how do I define myself……….who or what am I?

To most of you who will read this, you know me as a blogger. I write down ideas. I try to express them as interestingly as I can. I have been doing it for only a short time. And as I peruse my archives today, most of what I once wrote, now matters little. However, my perusing through the archives of other local bloggers, turned out to be rather fascinating. Looking at those blogger’s early days were reminiscent of looking through their high school yearbooks; one could see the seeds of what they would one day become, mixed in with the joyful exuberance over their own discovery of just what their abilities would allow them to do…………

But if our electronic memories like this, fade in such a short time, how does one stack up in a long term analysis. Fame is fleeting. We may remember a name for awhile, and maybe a couple of trivial facts, but then we move on. Take Ronald Reagan for instance. Just less than 20 years ago he was the driving force of our society, all over our newspapers and TV’s. Today he is still somewhat the driving force behind one of our nation’s political parties. But ask a fifteen year old who has finished American History, and you get this answer: “uh…….was he one of America’s Presidents?” “Yes?…………………………………………..” and that is enough of an answer for him. He feels vindicated. He got it right. Today it takes two or three college courses in Reaganomics to reach that level of knowledge that everyone who was alive in the eighties, now takes for granted. So if Ronnie Reagan’s influence has faded this fast, what on earth does it take to make a concrete, lasting impression?

Ask about Lincoln, and you get “He freed the slaves”. So that’s the magnitude of an act necessary to be remembered just 142 years. So what do we know of a hundred years before that,… five hundred before that,….. a thousand,….. two thousand, …..four thousand?…………………….Surprisingly we actually know a little from those vast expansive time frames. We know of Abraham’s journey, from what today is Basra, up to Damascus, and down through what today is Israel and over to Egypt. We know of the attempted sacrifice of his son Isaac, the destruction of Sodom and Gamorrah. We know these things because religion…..one religion in particular, made a point of writing it down. Why? Why did they not follow the trend of all other local religions who emphasized power, the accumulation of wealth, and exalted position?

We don’t know why. But for some reason they just thought it was more important to tell their stories, which emphasized the common elements of our existence, and by preserving such stories of life and love, that relate to all men and women, their stories were told from generation to generation, and therefore got passed down to where we know of them today…………. ……One should note, we know much less about the pharaohs who left the longest-lasting monuments ever built by man. And we know even less about all other civilizations who studiously logged each accomplishment of every king throughout their civilization. Those names never survived the conquering armies and now are lost forever………………………..but we know of a lady named Ruth.

The window suddenly opened behind me and a voice full of love and life said, “Daddy, oh, there you are………………….” and that is when it hit……………………I am a dad…………….and that…………. is how I define myself…….. ….Whether planned or unplanned, those four indiscretions of my youth, have in their turn, now defined me. No matter how else I choose to define myself, it will be that special code of proteins, which got passed down to this small, select group of the next generation, enhanced with those of my wife, that will carry what I am, long and far beyond after anyone will have any clue of who Bush I, Bush II, or Clinton I, Clinton II were. It is this gift of life, given to me by my father and mother, stretching back to the beginning of our species, a chain of which I am most grateful to have been a part of, that now, has been passed on…………………………

Someday……….. a small living part of me may grow up in a floating colony plotting its own orbit around the giant orb of Saturn. … Wouldn’t surprise me….. I am almost sure I carry that gene.

But my greatest responsibility as a man on this planet, is to prepare my own kids for the success of their own lives. Those of you who read these blogs know first-hand the personal cost exacted by the inordinate amount of time it takes to research and track down elusive leads. You know the choices neglected to make it happen. But your contribution to the blogosphere, no matter how spectacular, matters little if you neglect that progeny that wants to spend some of that fleeting time with you, before they are grown and literally, gone……………………….

So if our life is this important, with the continuation and passing down of traits from one generation to another, when is it morally and proper to kill someone, and thereby break that link and chain forever? When are we morally entitled to stop that genetic line in its tracks and prevent it from continuing through time up to our species extinction?

For instance, is it theoretically ok to kill another family’s son, who is at that moment is in the process of trying to kill me? ……………………..Yeah, we all have the right to survival. Ok,…..So let’s try this one: is it ok… to kill another family’s son who is preventing me from taking something of his that I want, like oil? Do I, because of the special configuration of my own amino acids, have that moral right to take his life?

On this point……….I find it hard to justify permanently erasing something that has taken over million years to evolve, like someone’s unique genetic code. I cannot sanction the removal of a unique human history, spawned from the mixing of memory and desire, just so I can drive my SUV.

So as a “dad” ……….on this Father’s Day or anytime, …..do I have the moral right to remain silent, as other sons and daughters are getting slaughtered for a reason,… …one that borders on lunacy whenever, and if ever, it is rationally probed?

Well, let’s think about it……I definitely have that option……I can certainly choose to say nothing,………but do I have the right to say nothing?……….. And this is what I struggle with…….

The Constitution gives me the right to remain silent whenever I am wrongfully prosecuted. But for the Constitution to remain relevant, it demands that all of us stand up and speak up, whenever we feel that the Constitution is misused to wrongfully persecute others. So as an American citizen, by default, I am required by my Constitution to make my views known……………in any public forum to which I have access. If my views are relevant, they get picked up and rise to the top. If they are not quite all there…….they get passed over, forgotten, and sink to the bottom……..But as a citizen of this great country, I , as well as you, continue to have the obligation, or duty, to make our views known.

So as a “dad”, here I am on this Father’s Day: Just doin’ my part, man. Just doin’ my part…………………..

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al Basra Oil Terminal

Thanks to Chatterjee and CorpWatch for this reporting. This is one more grain of evidence that this war was fought not for the benefit of America, but for the benefit of Cheney’s stock futures which expire in 2009, well after his current term has ended. Harsh as that statement may sound on its surface, if one uses this frame of reference as a polarizer, then the “idiotic decisions” that have led this country to its current situation inside of Iraq, actually make financial and rational sense.

 

What idiotic decisions? Those very decisions that seem to prolong the war, instead of resolving it.

 

The trail starts with a map found in Cheney’s drawer showing Iraq carved up into parcels of real estate. It runs through the Energy Task Force, through his private “Iraqi reading room” in Langley Field; it continues through deliberately misleading America in the case to invade Iraq, through micromanaging the personnel decisions within Garner’s team at the onset of the Iraqi reconstruction, through the shifting of funding from successful Iraqi programs to unsuccessful ones, through his insistence of “no-bid” contracts, and now through these new revelations.

 

What was revealed six days ago was that the meters measuring the Iraqi crude now being pumped into tankers at the mouth of the Euphrates, do not work. And have not worked since the invasion in 03. The responsible party is none other than Halliburton. This supposedly quick fix, is still pending. Basically no one, no one, can monitor how much crude is leaving Iraq.

 

According to this contributor at the Stars and Stripes, a back of the envelope calculation, that every centimeter lowering of a tanker equals 6000 barrels of crude, is how business is done. A miscalculation by a couple of inches, can mean the difference of 30,000 barrels or oil or at today’s price of 75 dollars a barrel, 2 ¼ million unreported dollars.

 

If you don’t already have stock in Halliburton, you need to invest today. In fact, being a betting person, I would say the odds are good that Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Mike Castle, and every other congressperson who votes in line with Cheney on this issue, has some Halliburton hidden somewhere in their portfolio. For they are certainly not voting for the American people.

 

For if truth is to be known, as long as there is chaos in Iraq, Halliburton will continue to reap enormous profits. Ironically, it is only when we actually do succeed, and the Iraqi’s can proclaim their own self rule, will the bonanza end for all of those holding stock options in Halliburton. Ending the war early, will no doubt cost Republicans dearly, literally.